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Gendered woodcutting practices and institutional bricolage processes – The case of woodcutting permits in Burkina Faso

Journal article
Authors Jenny Friman
Published in Forest Policy and Economics
Volume 111
ISSN 1389-9341
Publication year 2020
Published at School of Global Studies
Language en
Keywords Burkina Faso, Forest governance, Gender, Institutional bricolage, Practice based approach, Woodcutting practices
Subject categories Technology and social change


© 2019 Elsevier B.V. This paper explores gendered woodcutting practices in the two rural villages Boessen and Tonogo in Burkina Faso. The aim of this qualitative study is to understand how women navigate their everyday life as they collect and sell wood at the intersection of socially embedded and formal institutions. This is done through specifically examining how the formal forest regulation of woodcutting permits, designed to impede forest resource outtake, plays out in practice. In order to do so, the study explores gendered woodcutting practices to analyze the entwinement of formal and socially embedded institutions from an institutional bricolage perspective. A methodology informed by the practice based approach to forest governance further our understanding of institutional processes as guided by natural resource use practices. The study highlights the importance of social relations for how institutional bricolage processes are formed as the woodcutting women and the forest guards continuously adapt their behavior and interpretation of the forest institutions in close relation to each other. Following women's woodcutting practices shows how livelihood needs and traditional ways of using tools and transporting wood becomes interpreted and guides the institutional bricolage processes. Therefore, institutional bricolage processes needs to be understood as gendered, complex, multiple processes which can play out simultaneously within one regulatory context.

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